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Hootie & the Blowfish hitting the road, coming to Phoenix in June

PHOENIX – Hootie & the Blowfish are hitting the road for the first time in more than a decade, and the “Hold My Hand” rockers are coming to Phoenix next year.

Lead singer Darius Rucker is taking a break from his successful country music career to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hootie & the Blowfish’s smash debut album, “Cracked Rear View.”

The band’s 44-city Group Therapy tour, with supporting act Barenaked Ladies, kicks off May 30 in Virginia and hits Ak-Chin Pavilion on June 19.

Tickets for the Phoenix show go on sale to the general public Friday at noon.

With Top 10 hits “Hold My Hand,” ″Let Her Cry” and “Only Wanna Be With You” from their 1994 debut, Hootie & the Blowfish went from playing college bars to selling out arenas and winning best new artist at the Grammy Awards in 1996.

The South Carolina-based band put out five studio albums and other live albums, never coming close to the popularity of the first, with the last one in 2006. Their last official tour was in 2007.

Rucker, Mark Bryan, Jim Sonefeld and Dean Felber, who still play together a few times a year for charity events, decided it was time to go out on the road and bring with them some new music.

″When the four of us get back together, we fall into the same dynamic of the band that’s always there,” Rucker said. “We’ve been a band for pretty much 30 years now. We’re just older now. There’s a lot less alcohol.”

Rucker said they hope to have a single out in the spring with a full album next summer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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